Segmented Labour Markets and the Ongoing Blending of Cultures of the European Commission Skilled Workers

Monday, July 14, 2014: 11:06 AM
Room: 414
Oral Presentation
Magali BALLATORE , Sociology, GIRSEF-UCL, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
The European Commission of Brussels is often seen as a European-minded body of privileged civil servants. These civil servants hold varying positions varying between trainees, contractual staff, interim staff and experts. Looking closer at the diversity of the workers in terms of age, gender, social and schooling backgrounds and at the hybridization (In Globalization theory, the ongoing blending of cultures) inside this institution, we can see people performing their activities under different types of job contracts. These are increasingly influenced by the logic of the market and are becoming more precarious. In other words, today in the field of Eurocracy, there are deep differences between permanent and non-permanent positions. The gap between official and contractual staff did not exist previously and has tended to increase in recent years.

In this paper we focus on this new population of highly skill workers, who invest their own resources, empathy and individual autonomy to try to enter this specific labour market. Doing so, we will try to construct a picture of the migratory paths and social backgrounds of these employees before they enter the institution using a survey within the European Commission in Brussels. We will analyse 1234 questionnaires, 22 interviews and some direct observations to develop a critical discussion on the conditions faced by these knowledge workers. We will explore their representation, experiences and the way they see their future. Hence, we will address the question of spatial, national and social inequality for this newly formed European transnational elite.

Selected Bibliography

BALLATORE M. (2010) Erasmus et la mobilité des jeunes européens, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France